GAMEDAY REPORT: CLIPPERS VS. MAGIC - 1/6/14
Game #37 | January 6, 2014
Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES – Two nights ago in their first game of what could be upwards of 20 without superstar Chris Paul, the Clippers were insistent they could build on a lopsided loss to the Spurs.
The ball movement, motion and defensive intensity that characterized their second half in the San Antonio carried over to Monday night against the Orlando Magic.
The Clippers assisted on all but five of their made baskets, played “stifling” defense and blew out the visiting Magic, 101-81, in their first game at Staples Center without Paul.
Paul, who met with the media prior to the game, is expected to miss up to six weeks with a Grade 3 AC Joint separation in his right shoulder. But Collison shined in Paul’s stead Monday. He made his first eight shots, most of which came at the rim blowing past veteran Jameer Nelson, and finished with a season-high 21 points to go with seven assists and four steals.
“You couldn’t ask for a better game from a lot of the guys,” said Blake Griffin, who had 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. “Guys were hitting shots, guys were defending, guys were getting steals, we’re running people off the 3-point line, we did all the things we wanted to do.”
The Clippers (24-13) had 30 assists on 35 field goals. It was the sixth time this season they’ve dished out at least 30, all wins, all at home, where they are tied for the second best winning percentage in the NBA.
“I think [ball movement] was out biggest focus,” Darren Collison said. “It’s something that we’ve been successful at throughout the season and when we tend to get away from ball movement we haven’t been as successful. In the first half of the San Antonio game, we didn’t have enough ball movement and in the second half we did. [Tonight] we just wanted to get back to that same movement.”
DeAndre Jordan had 14 points, 17 rebounds and eight blocked shots. He put together a pair of highlights at the expense of Orlando’s Glen Davis as part of the Clippers’ 36-point first quarter. He swatted away a Davis layup attempt, knocking the Magic big man to the floor. Less than two minutes later, he drove baseline on Davis and finished with a powerful dunk that was heavily contested.
Griffin got into the act as well, throwing down a windmill alley-oop off a pass from Matt Barnes. It was two of their 20 fast-break points. Willie Green had 11 points off the bench and Jamal Crawford scored 13 points with eight assists and five rebounds. Green and Crawford converted six of the Clippers’ 11 3-pointers.
For Doc Rivers, though, the offense was effectively the easy part. “I wasn’t worried about the offense,” he said. “I thought our offense played terrific. In the first half [the defense] was as good as it’s been. It was stifling.”
The Magic (10-24) trailed by as many as 35 points, got just 28 points combined from their starting five and finished shooting 35.7 percent from the field. Their 81 points was one shy of the season-low for a Clippers’ opponent. The Clippers controlled the game from the opening tap, grabbing a 20-3 lead by way of an 18-0 run. The Magic never got closer than 13 points from there.
“I think it was the way we came out and started,” Jordan said. “The last two games I think we came out and tried to score instead of focusing on getting stops. And when we focus on getting stops we get a lot of easy buckets, transition threes for guys like Matt [Barnes], Jamal [Crawford], [Jared Dudley]. When Blake [Griffin] and I run the floor, usually we’re faster, so if we can get stops we can get out and run.”
The Clippers are 15-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers… They are 11-10 all-time without Chris Paul… The victory snapped a five-game losing streak to the Magic at Staples Center… Orlando is 1-16 when allowing at least 100 points… Maurice Harkless and Victor Olidipo each scored 22 points off the bench… The Clippers grabbed 51 rebounds. It was fourth time they’ve had at least 50 rebounds in a game this season, something they did just six times in 82 games in 2012-13… Antawn Jamison had 10 points off the bench, including making his first 3-pointer since Dec. 14…
|Clippers forward Blake Griffin on DeAndre Jordan’s dunk over Glen Davis in the first quarter:
“It was alright. I told him, ‘The other guy didn’t jump that high.’ Nah, it was nice. But you can expect that from D.J.”
|Clippers guard Jamal Crawford on DeAndre Jordan’s season so far:
“He has been unbelievable. When you look at him, you look at [Eric] Bledsoe, you look at Isaiah Thomas. I think those three have been the most improved players in the league.”
|Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn on Clippers’ performance:
“They got beat pretty bad the game before, so they came out with a sense of urgency. They got up and down the floor really fast, made shots early, [and] had great ball movement early. We were playing from behind from the beginning.”
|Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on missing out on a triple-double for the second time this season:
“I never think I’ll get it because I always know, like in the Sacramento game, I came out and everyone’s like, ‘Ahh, you only needed one block.’ And tonight, they are all, ‘Ahh, you only needed two blocks.’ And I’m like, ‘Why don’t you tell me that when I’m in the game.’”
|Clippers guard Darren Collison on playing without Chris Paul:
“I’m just going to play my game, you can’t be Chris Paul. Chris Paul is a great player in this league, you know because he’s himself. You know, I’ve got to play my game and do what I do best. If I go out there and make a mistake, then I make a mistake but you know the one thing you count on is I’m always going to play hard and trying to help my team win.”
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CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME
By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten
LOS ANGELES – After a brief and costly trip through Texas, the Clippers return home Monday night to face the Orlando Magic.
The Clippers (23-13) split their back-to-back in Dallas and San Antonio, but lost superstar Chris Paul to a grade 3 AC joint separation in his right shoulder when he landed awkwardly against the Mavericks. Paul is expected to miss up to six weeks while recovering from the injury. However, he will not need surgery.
Their first outing with Paul absent from the lineup ended in a 116-92 loss to the Spurs. They have a chance to get back on track against the Magic (10-23), who own a three-game losing streak.
Orlando has the second worst winning percentage in the NBA and tips off a four-game home stand for the Clippers in which the first three opponents are under .500.
DARREN COLLISON vs. JAMEER NELSON
No one said stepping in for Paul would be easy, and Collison was thrown into the starting lineup against San Antonio’s Tony Parker on Saturday. Two days later, Nelson, who like Parker is one of the league’s eldest starting point guards, may seem something of a reprieve. The two have matched up nine times, with Nelson scoring just 9.7 points despite averaging nearly 30 minutes a game.
Nelson comes into the Clippers’ game off his highest scoring outing of the season. He scored a team-high 21 points for the Magic in their loss to the Heat on Saturday. It continues a trend for Nelson who has 10 or more points in 14 of his last 15 games.
On the other hand, Collison has made 14 of his last 17 shots from 2-point range, including his 5-for-7 performance in his first start since Paul was knocked out of the lineup. Collison had his first 20-point game of the season on Friday in Dallas and has also notched nine steals in the last three games.
THINGS TO WATCH
1. Movement and motion. Of all the things Rivers and the Clippers said they failed to do without Paul in their blowout loss to the Spurs, moving the ball on offense and cutting off the ball were top priorities. The so-called “hockey assist” was non-existent in a first half that netted just 35 points. However, that changed in the second half when the multiple actions and extra passes were much more prevalent.
“We need more ball movement,” said Jamal Crawford, who has 18 assists in two games the Clippers have played without Paul this season. “Chris is such a quarterback at what he does, and he’s special when he has the ball in his hands. He sees things develop before they actually develop and he reads situations before they actually happen. So without him we have to have more ball movement and lean on each other.”
Against Orlando, the league’s 12th best team in defensive efficiency, it will be worth noting if the Clippers can build on the second half (particularly the third quarter) in San Antonio.
2. 100 is the number. The Clippers are the highest scoring team in the NBA at home (109.7 points per game) and are 19-5 when they score at least 100 points (16-1 when they score 104 or more). On the contrary, Orlando is 1-15 when they allow at least 100 points, which is something they have done four times since Dec. 21 (seven games).
The Clippers have lost 11 of their last 13 games to Orlando including a five-game losing streak to the Magic at Staples Center… Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who had 30 points and 21 rebounds when the Magic defeated the Clippers in November, is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. He has missed the past two games… L.A. is 10-10 all-time when Paul sits out… The Clippers waived reserve point guard Maalik Wayns on Sunday and the Magic waived former Clippers forward Solomon Jones on Saturday... Nine players on the Magic roster were born after the team played its first game in the NBA (Oct. 13, 1989)… Orlando is 3-12 on the road… Griffin is averaging 25.4 points per game since Dec. 14…
LAST TIME OUT